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In Defence Of Transcendence

Tuesday 29 April 2014, 14:48

Mark Kermode Mark Kermode

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Transcendence opened in the UK last week after a very poor reception in the US. It got a critical kicking here too but I still think the film has a lot going for it and so does my fellow critic Robbie Collin…

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    Comment number 1.

    Can I suggest that you watch any of the 'Ghost in the Shell' films or SAC TV series and/or several episodes of various Star-Trek series and/or play one of the missions in Mass-Effect:3 that appears remarkably similar to Transcendence or indeed any of the multitude of other SF books, TV, films and anime titles that have pondered the uploaded human consciousness dilemma in the last few decades. I think the problem here, again, is lack of originality and the cliched and inevitable appearance of Morgan Freeman (an actor I like but who is now spectacularly typecast).

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    Comment number 2.

    Yes, yes, yes. I completely agree, it will get a reassessment. I genuinely enjoyed it and like you was particularly impressed with the wonderful Paul Bettany, who always convinces in every role he plays as does Rebecca Hall. Interesting and thought provoking with lots of lovely tech and some truly beautiful shots. A really great start to a directing career from Pfister.

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    Comment number 3.

    Always respected Mark, but fear #Transcendence review is a reflection of fondness for Pfister rather than unbiased opinion. This is always dangerous territory for a critic but although Mark acknowledges the prevalence of this accusation, he does not address it, specifically how much has your opinion of Wally Pfister affected your opinion of his debut work? To be open, I love intelligent sci fi, am a fan of all the lead actors and was looking forward to the examination of such interesting themes, but though it has some positives the film just doesn't work and is a huge disappointment.

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    Comment number 4.

    I'm with you and Robbie on this one, Mark. I saw it today, and thoroughly enjoyed the big questions it tackles. The relationship between Will Caster and his wife got me thinking of Adam and Eve, a lot of symbolism with them being stewards of creation with the nano-technology in the desert, basically creating their own Eden out of that ramshackle town. I'm bemused with the poor reviews this got, compared with the 70% + that Captain America and the latest Amazing Spiderman film got on Rotten Tomatoes.

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    Comment number 5.

    Does Transcendence fit the definition of a cult film?


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Outspoken, opinionated and never lost for words, Mark is the UK's leading film critic.

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